Athletes from all over the world are coming into town for the first ever "Leadman Tri Bend" this week.
Matt Lieto an elite athlete says he worked hard to help bring the event to Bend, because it's such a different venue for the race, something many of the athletes are not accustomed to. “I think a lot of athletes will be surprised at the challenges that the high desert's going to offer. It’s going to be very cold in the morning and it could be pretty hot in the afternoon. And the altitude; the hardest part of the course is up Sparks Grade. And it's a 20 minute climb for some of the better athletes and that's at 6500 feet. So people that aren't used to riding in those conditions."
Lieto says the $50,000 "purse" draws athletes from all over the world; and he's expecting about 350 entries.
Lieto says the race is a 5-K swim on Cultus Lake; 138 mile bike ride around the Crane Prairie Reservoir and back and a 13.7 mile run around Mt. Bachelor. The best athletes could finish the race in about 9 hours.
Lieto says he doesn't believe that the smoky skies will be much of a problem by the weekend.
The official Leadman race begins on Saturday at 7 a.m. at Cultus Lake, but there will be festivities on Friday before the race in the Old Mill District and long after the race ends.